Former Clinton adviser dismayed at how Biden campaign is freezing out successful Democratic insiders

Top Democratic strategist Doug Schoen is urging the Biden campaign to adjust course, warning that the “uniquely tone-deaf” White House’s failure to listen to lucrative political insiders could cost Joe Biden the presidency. 

“The White House is uniquely tone deaf and not listening to not only me but two Democratic insiders who’ve been in past campaigns, who’ve been successful with the Obama administration, the Clinton administration,” the former Clinton adviser said during a Fox & Friends interview on Wednesday. 

He added, “There’s a near-total freeze out on outside advice to the detriment of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

Schoen joins the ranks of other Democratic strategists, including former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who are cautioning Democrats to prepare for a Republican victory in November should Biden fail to change his strategy. 

In early May, Axelrod had strong words for Biden, saying Biden’s refusal to acknowledge that voters are viewing the economy through “the lens of the cost of living” is “a terrible mistake.”

President Joe Biden walks to Marine One for departure from the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Washington. Biden is heading to Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“His desire to claim credit [for the economy] is a huge obstacle to connecting with voters on this issue,” Axelrod said on May 8, referencing Biden’s efforts to cite positive economic trends as a win for the country. “We learned this in 2011 and 2012. You can cite data until the cows come home, but what counts is how people are perceiving the economy.”

Schoen had a similar viewpoint on the topic.

“They have no message on inflation. They have no message on the southern border. All that they appear to do is demonize Donald Trump and talk about their statistical record of accomplishment,” he warned. “And everything I see in my polls and every other poll says it just isn’t working.”

The Democratic strategist pointed to the cost of living as the top issue in the 2024 election, saying, “In an election where inflation is as high as it is and people have trouble at the pump and in the grocery paying their bills, I think this, unlike prior elections, is going to be uniquely impacted and ultimately decided by the economy.”


Schoen says Biden could still win the election on one condition. 

“He needs to show more empathy on the economy, on inflation. He needs to do something about the southern border. And he needs to have an agenda going forward that is sensitive to people’s needs and interests and concerns, not the current message,” he concluded.

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